NEWBERRY — Tough defensive efforts from the Wolves sees them notch the win over the Indians with a final score of 59-39 on Wednesday night.
The contest saw a total of 10 ties and 12 lead changes. Newberry’s biggest advantage came in the fourth period by 20 points. Catawba’s largest lead was three points in the second period.
Newberry’s second half defense limited Catawba to 12 points. The swarming of Wolves defenders caused various miscues and led to scoring droughts for the Indians. Catawba shot 8.3 from the field, were 0-for-4 from behind the arc, and 53.3% from the charity stripe.
In the second half, Catawba went 2-for-26 from the field as Newberry found their footing going 12-for-26. The Indians went scoreless for quite some time and at one point during the matchup missed 16 consecutive shots. They ultimately went without a field goal for 9:26 in the third and 4:44 in the fourth. The total time of their scoring drought tallied 14:42.
The Wolves found themselves at the foul line 12 times due to 11 fouls committed by the Indians and ended the second half with a 32-12 advantage.
The two teams played an evenly matched first half as they entered the break tied at 27 points apiece thanks to a buzzer beating three-point field goal from Samara Hill. Hill’s tying bucket sent the Wolves into the locker room with a sense of electricity. Hill would go on to supply 10 points, an assist, and seven rebounds.
Meg Essex ended the game a pair of rebounds and blocks away from a triple-double, which would have been her fist of the season and career. Essex posted 15 points and an assist over her 26 minutes on the hardwood.
Courtney Lyons shined in her supporting role off the bench supplying a much needed 15 points to match Essex, with five rebounds, and a block. This contest was Lyons’ sixth double-digit game of the season.
The Wolves’ defense turned the Indians over 10 times and supplied six Newberry points. With the Indians missing key contributors, the suffocating defense did not allow anyone from Catawba to obtain 10 points. Taisha DeShazo led the way for Catawba with eight points.
Newberry tallied 11 blocks as a team to go with Catawba’s 11 made field goals. The Wolves also assisted each other 11 times and grabbed 43 boards on the night.
Shelby Britten, Kelsey McDermott and Hannah Lepaio would combine for 15 points, a block, two steals, eight assists and 13 rebounds.
“This was another great team defensive effort and gave us a chance to play in more games,” said Head Coach Sean Page. “This also secures the 14th consecutive winning season which is the longest active streak in South Carolina for women’s collegiate basketball.”